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How My Completionism Helps Me Procrastinate

I was talking with my friend Jeffrey (who you'll likely see on my channel at some point in the near future, stay tuned) about the current crop of Star Wars cartoons, and I told him that I haven't watched much of Rebels or any of The Bad Batch - and in fact, I hadn't even watched the final season of Clone Wars.

Of course, I've heard great things about all of these - that last season of Clone Wars is apparently terrific - but I never got around to it. And I explained why like this:

"Whenever I want to sit down and watch season 7, I realize I don't remember season 6 at all. So I'd probably want to watch season 6 again. And honestly, I've only seen the entire show once, and I'd kind of like to refresh my memory - after all, people love the show, but I don't know if I got as much out of it as them, because I was writing reviews of the show at the time. So maybe I should just watch seasons 1-7 all together, and then go on to Rebels...

"But then I realize that it would be kind of fun to rewatch the Prequels before watching Clone Wars, and at that point, you might as well watch the Original Trilogy first...

"So now, instead of watching an episode of TV, I'm planning to binge a whole lot of the entire Star Wars canon."

When I described it, I joked about getting caught in a cycle of watching the prequels and then watching the Original Trilogy and back again, but beyond that... I wasn't really kidding.

Then it happened again.

See, I've been catching up on the "Dusk" actual play on Matt Colville's channel. But as with so many things I watch on YouTube, I was watching it at double-speed. It's a bad habit I've developed, because so much of the time, I care more about crossing things off of my "To Read/To Watch/To Listen To" list, rather than taking the time to enjoy it. (I did the same with a good chunk of Critical Role campaign 3, which means I know for sure I've missed some major plot details and gotten confused later on.)

But as the campaign progressed, I found myself really enjoying it, and slowing the campaign down to regular speed. And then I thought, "Well, I should just restart this, so I can actually listen and enjoy it."

And then I remembered that Colville had released some Running the Game videos alongside this actual play series, and that it might be fun to drop those in where they aired between these episodes, so that I could get the full effect of listening to a D&D game, and then hearing his video that referenced the game.

But then, as I was looking at his list of videos, I realized it would also be fun to go back to some of his other videos now that I've seen a campaign of his that could help explain his mindset for some videos - even if I enjoyed them, I could get more out of them now.

And in fact, maybe I should give another try to his previous actual play campaigns, which I hadn't really responded as well to...

So that's how I found myself adding literally hundreds of Matt Colville's YouTube videos - some of which I've seen multiple times - to my Watch Later playlist.

Now, thankfully I've come to my senses and paired that list down somewhat (although there are still more than a hundred Matt Colville videos in my Watch Later playlist, because I still think it's gonna be fun to rewatch some of his videos and then give "Dusk" a proper try, I stand by this). but I've begun to accept that this is just how my mind works. I'm a completionist, and the specific method of my completionism means that I tend to be really delayed in starting projects, even when it comes to something as simple as watching a TV show or listening to some YouTube videos.

I've been wanting to try some of the new Pokémon games, but before that... I kinda want to go back and play the generations before. All of the generations before.

I want to play God of War or Elden Ring, but first I have a list of video games I want to play so I can train myself not to be a button-masher.

Thankfully, with these examples, I do plan to stream some video games this year, so I think I'll get a chance to do exactly what I'm hoping to do. But when your mind works in such a weird and borderline counterproductive way, naming the issue is the first step. I'm a completionist who also likes to procrastinate - which means there are plenty of things I want to do that I just don't get around to. And knowing that as I go into 2023 can hopefully help me identify the moments when I slip into this pattern, and hopefully find a way to break some of those cycles.

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